Published: September 28, 2012
RICHMOND, Va.–Nursing home patients take a lot of pills, and Michael Bronfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Remedi SeniorCare, is positioning his company, which provides pharmacy services to long-term-care facilities, to capture more of that market.
The Baltimore-based company recently opened a fully automated pharmacy in a 22,000-square-foot building in a Hanover County office park. The pharmacy is the first of three automated pharmacies the company plans to open this year, Bronfein said.
“We’ve targeted the senior market because we believe they are the most vulnerable and require the most sophisticated and accurate medication administration,” said Bronfein who was at the Hanover facility Thursday for an open house.
“Nurses, who are our primary beneficiaries of the packing, find that it’s much easier to use, it’s much faster to use.”
The company plans to open similar pharmacies in Philadelphia and Dayton later this year, followed by pharmacies in Cleveland, Detroit and Grand Rapids in the spring, he said.
In many nursing facilities, medications traditionally are administered in what’s referred to as “bingo cards,” or tablet-sized cards with 30 days of medication, from which pills are punched out, Bronfein said.
Nurses in focus groups say it’s cumbersome, inefficient and inaccurate, Bronfein said.
Paxit, the company’s robotic dispensing technology, is the result. Instead of bingo cards, pills are packaged in small, easy-to-open pouches with a patient’s name and a day’s worth of medication.
“The new system is fully automated, patient specific and time-of-day specific,” Bronfein said.
“We built a system that’s really for the future,” he added, explaining that it’s compliant with provisions of federal health care reform that require medications to be dispensed to Medicare Part D beneficiaries in nursing homes in shorter cycles — such as every 14 days instead of monthly. That reduce waste that happens, for instance, when patients are discharged or medications are switched.
Bronfein said their set-up allows them to dispense in weekly or even shorter cycles.
The Hanover County pharmacy has the capacity to serve up to 10,000 nursing long-term-care residents, according to information provided by the company.
The company, which employs 32 people at the Hanover facility, has 500 employees nationwide.
Remedi SeniorCare has been in the Richmond area since 2009, and moved from an 8,000-square-foot location on Parham Road to the Hanover to accommodate the new system and growth.
“We have added three positions so far and will add more with growth; no positions have been eliminated,” said Dale St. Clair, a pharmacist and general manager for the company’s Virginia operations.